Television chef Gary Rhodes has died aged 59, his family confirmed this morning.
The father-of-two, famous for his gelled spiky hair, died in Dubai – where he has lived since 2011 – with his wife Jennie by his side.
A statement from his family said: ‘The Rhodes family are deeply saddened to announce the passing of beloved husband, father and brother, Gary Rhodes OBE.
‘Gary passed away last evening, Tuesday 26th November 2019, at the age of 59, with his beloved wife Jennie by his side.
‘The family would like to thank everyone for their support and ask for privacy during this time.’
Grosvenor House Dubai and Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, where Rhodes worked, said in a statement: ‘The team are devastated to hear of the tragic passing of Chef Gary Rhodes OBE.
‘Not only has the industry lost a true culinary legend, we have also lost an inspirational human being and a very dear friend.
‘No words can express our sadness at Gary’s death or our gratitude for the opportunity to work with him. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Rhodes family.’
Jamie Oliver has this morning led tributes to Rhodes, posting on Instagram: ‘My heart felt sympathies to his wife , kids, friends and family, sending love and thoughts.
‘Gary was a fantastic chef and incredible ambassador for British cooking, he was a massive inspiration to me as a young chef.
‘He reimagined modern British cuisine with elegance and fun. rest in peace Chef.’
Simon Hulstone tweeting: ‘Very sad to get a message this morning from Dubai informing me of the brilliant Chef and mentor Gary Rhodes passing last night.
‘What a shining star for British gastronomy. Rest well Chef.’
Daniel Clifford posted: ‘Rest in peace a true British classic Gary Rhodes you open the door for so many young English cooks.’
Rhodes, known for his distinctive spiking hair style, was a household name in the early 2000s
Jaideep Bhatia, PR director of the Grosvenor House Dubai, told the PA news agency Mr Rhodes was working ‘until the day he died’.
He said: ‘He arrived in Dubai in 2007 and had two restaurants, Rhodes 2010 at Le Royal Meridien Beach Resort and Spa, and Rhodes W1 at the Grosvenor.
‘He was working until the day he died. He was working until Tuesday.’
Mr Bhatia said he was unable to confirm any further details about Mr Rhodes’ death, as everything else had to come ‘from the family’.
Rhodes, known for his distinctive spiking hair style, was a household name in the early 2000s, and fronted shows such as Masterchef and Hells Kitchen. In 2006 he competed in the BBC’s Great British Menu.
Born in south London in 1960, his family moved to Gillingham, Kent. He went to catering college in Thanet which is where he met his wife Jennie.
In the 1970s he had to have major brain surgery when he was hit by a transit van on a night out.
He was known for his love of British cuisine and earned a record five Michelin Stars throughout his career. He was the author of more than 18 cookery books.
In 2008 he appeared on Strictly Come Dancing but was the third celebrity to be voted off. He moved to Dubai in 2011.
He owned a steakhouse restaurant called Rhodes Twenty10. A message on its website reads: ‘Closed from 16th September until further notice.’
Its Facebook page has not been updated since September 8.
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